View current

Open Access for Research Publications Guideline

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The University is a generator of new knowledge and a contributor to scholarly outputs. It is committed to ensuring that all outputs are disseminated in high quality outlets and made available as broadly as possible to the public, industry and researchers worldwide, for the benefit of Australian and global society.

(2) This Guideline provides information on best practice for making research publications open access, when doing so does not contravene any other legal obligation on the part of the author or the University. The Guideline also highlights available resources and support at UQ to assist with open access.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Open Access Requirements for UQ Researchers

(3) The University's Open Access for UQ Research Publications Policy articulates the requirements for UQ researchers to make their publications open access.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Open Access Resources and Support

(4) There are many resources available at UQ to support researchers with open access publishing. This includes library guides on open access topics and contact points for researchers to obtain advice.

(5) Learn more about open access:

  1. Open access publishing workflow.
  2. Article processing charges (APCs).
  3. Copyright and Creative Commons.
  4. Copyright quick guides.
  5. UQ eSpace and open access.

(6) UQ open access resources:

  1. UQ’s current Read and Publish Agreements.
  2. Journal search tool to support strategic publishing decisions.

(7) Further support:

  1. Copyright advice and support – email:
  2. UQ eSpace team – email:
  3. Contact your Faculty Services Librarians.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Methods for Open Access Journal Publishing

(8) There are various options to make research publications open access. These options are available for UQ researchers who must publish open access (e.g. to comply with funder mandates) and researchers who choose to do so (e.g. to increase the visibility of research). The methods outlined in this Guideline include:

  1. Self-Archiving the Author-Accepted Manuscript (clauses 11-13)
  2. Publishing in an Open Access Journal (clauses 14-15)
  3. Publishing in a Read & Publish Journal (clauses 16-18)

(9) Some key features of these three methods are summarised in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1 - Summary of Open Access Publishing Methods.

  Self-Archiving the Author Accepted Manuscript in UQ eSpace
(clauses 11-13)
Publishing in an Open Access Journal
(clauses 14-15)
Publishing in a Journal where UQ Library has a Read & Publish agreement
(clauses 16-18)
Immediate Open Access Embargo period may apply Immediately available OA via publisher Immediately available OA via publisher when the publishing charges are covered by UQ Library agreements
Funding Model No charge to the author Article Processing Charges (APCs) may apply Article Processing Charges (APCs) may be covered by UQ Library agreement

(10) When considering pathways to publishing open access, UQ researchers should also focus on publishing in the highest quality outlet to maximise success in publishing endeavours (see clauses 14-15).

Self-Archiving the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM)

(11) UQ authors are able to self-archive their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM, also known as a post-print) into UQ eSpace to make their outputs open access. This open access method is available for authors publishing in fully open access journals, or subscription-based journals. Authors are not required to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) when self-archiving.

(12) UQ authors are encouraged to consider a Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) to enable them to apply a CC-BY Creative Commons licence (see clause 22) to their Author Accepted Manuscript and share the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) immediately upon publication via UQ eSpace. UQ researchers should check with their funders as some require an RRS, or include it as a supported pathway to OA compliance (e.g. NHMRC Open Access Policy).

(13) Where a Rights Retention Strategy is not applied, it may still be possible to self-archive the Author Accepted Manuscript, as a large percentage of publishers permit this, though an embargo period may apply. UQ authors are encouraged to deposit their outputs into UQ eSpace immediately upon publication and the UQ eSpace team will ensure that the deposited manuscript will be set to automatically become openly available at the end of any required embargo period. The Journal Search tool can be used to check publishers’ self-archiving policies.

Publishing in an Open Access Journal

(14) Articles that are published in fully open access journals are immediately accessible by readers for free via the internet. To accomplish this, some open access journals require the payment of publication costs (Article Processing Charges), although there are some open access journals that are financially sponsored by third parties and are free for authors to publish in.

(15) It is important when selecting an open access journal to target the highest quality journals by carefully evaluating the scholarly credibility of both the publisher and the journal to avoid publishing in predatory journals. The University recommends the use of the UQ’s Journal Search tool which includes information about journal quality and indexing. The Journal search tool can also be used to specifically select open access journals with no Article Processing Charges (APCs) and may assist with choosing open access pathways when considered alongside other factors such as journal relevance, peer review processes and promotion and visibility.

Publishing in a Read and Publish Journal

(16) It is possible to make articles published in some subscription-based journals immediately open access. Traditionally, doing so requires the payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) - however, other articles in the journal may not be available via open access. UQ does not recommend this model of open access publishing, as it allows publishers to “double-dip” through library subscriptions and Article Processing Charges. UQ authors can avoid supporting this model by self-archiving an author accepted version of the article (see clauses 11-13).

(17) To avoid this spending model, UQ has negotiated Read and Publish Agreements (also known as transformative agreements) with several publishers. In these agreements, subscription costs and Article Processing Charges have been combined. When UQ Library has negotiated such an agreement (directly or via the Council of Australian University Librarians) with the publisher, UQ authors may be able to publish their research as open access under three UQ Library funded Article Processing Charges (APCs) categories:

  1. Uncapped APCs: unlimited pre-paid open access publishing of research articles in the included titles.
  2. Capped APCs: there may be limits set on the number of research articles that UQ authors can publish open access.
  3. Discount APCs: the publisher may offer a discount on APCs.

(18) A list of UQ’s current Read and Publish Agreements is available on the UQ Library website.

Publishing in Preprint Servers

(19) A preprint is the author’s version of a research manuscript prior to a formal peer review. This article version can be made openly accessible for wide dissemination using online repositories, known as preprint servers. While UQ recognises there are many benefits to posting preprints, and in many disciplines they are an important part of the scholarly record, they do not meet UQ or funders’ open access requirements, unless the preprint is the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM). Further, it is recommended to check the preprint policies of journals to which you are considering submitting your manuscript for specific information. 

Top of Page

Section 5 - Non-Traditional Research Outputs, Books and Book Chapters

(20) Non-traditional research outputs (NTROs) are important research works and key to knowledge dissemination across many disciplines. They include creative works, live performances, recorded or rendered creative works, curated or produced exhibitions or events and research reports commissioned by external bodies. NTROs can be manually added to UQ eSpace and made openly available if permissible.

(21) UQ eSpace can archive open access copies of books and book chapters - however publisher policies on archiving book content vary greatly and there are a number of book publishing considerations to be aware of. The UQ eSpace team will determine if your submission can be deposited in the repository and will apply an embargo period accordingly, if required.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Copyright

(22) Open access relies on the consent of copyright holders to share their work, and making research outputs open access will not deprive copyright holders of any rights. When negotiating to publish, it is recommended for UQ authors to retain the copyright of their works where possible, rather than transferring the copyright to the publisher. In cases, where the publisher owns the copyright, authors are encouraged to negotiate the licence terms with the publishers to make their publications available under a Creative Commons licence. The University recommends that where possible the CC-BY licence should be used. It is important to note that some funders have specific requirements relating to the use of Creative Commons licences and authors should refer to the relevant funder policies for details.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Definitions

Term Definition
Article processing charges (APCs) A fee paid to a publisher to make an article immediately open access.
Authors Staff, students and title holders of The University of Queensland who are authors on a publication.
Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM, also referred to as post-prints) The manuscript of an article that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review, and editor-author communications.
Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTROs) Activities or artefacts that arise from research. They include creative works, live performances, recorded or rendered creative works, curated or produced exhibitions or events and research reports commissioned by external bodies.
Open Access (OA) Refers to unrestricted (no paywall) online access to research outputs published in scholarly outlets. Types of open access research outputs available online include articles, books and book chapters, conference papers, theses, working papers, data and software.
Publication Dissemination of research findings, whether in hard copy, electronic or other tangible form, including: making them available in refereed and non-refereed books or journals, conference presentations, papers, proceedings and posters and creative works with a research component.
Read & Publish (R&P) Agreements Also known as transformative agreements, combine the payment for reading content (subscriptions) with the payment for publishing Open Access content (Article Processing Charges). 
Rights Retention Strategy (RSS) The Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) approach allows authors to adopt rights over their scholarly works when publishing in open access journals or platforms. It involves depositing a copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in a repository on publication and providing open access to it.
University The University of Queensland.
UQ eSpace The University’s open access institutional repository for research outputs.
Title Holders Visiting academics, academic title holders, industry fellows, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title holders, and conjoint appointments.